King Carbon Fiber: Gunther Werks Reimagines the 993
Well, are you kicking yourself yet? You know, over the fact that a Porsche 993 Turbo, the last of the aircooled greats was affordable at one point in time? Well, that dead cat bounce came back strong and 1995-1998 Porsches have reached over $2-million in GT2 trim. The price for these cars today has dragged up even the lowly C2 from obscurity and given them lofty values and more desirability. The aftermarket noticed and the aftermarket also helped create the frenzy into a climate today where Singer was born and new player Gunther Werks Porsche, who should need no introduction but hey, we get paid by the word.
Let’s rewind again a bit before we get to the Gunther Werks phenomenon. Porsche has always made desirable cars and the swing-and-miss of the 1999-2004 Porsche 996 help the aircooled prices along. That left collectors to hoard previous generations fearing the worst for the future of the 911. But the aftermarket aided in not only ramping up the classics but bringing completely reinvented restomods to an almost completely new set of buyers.
What Rauh-Welt Begriff (RWB) widebodies may have started and Singer restomods perpetuated, the latest player in the high-dollar Porsche scene has possibly perfected. We are talking about Gunther Werks, the company that might not have built the restomod Porsche market but in many ways perfected it… in carbon fiber.
Since the parent company of company is carbon fiber and wheel titans Vorsteiner, they wanted to reinvent the 993 with a clean approach. Identifying that the base model Carrera C2 tended to understeer inherently out of the factory, the mission to alter the geometry was underway. Believing the front track was too narrow, this Porsche was reimagined with a completely square set-up. To achieve this, it wasn’t a simple increase in bodywork with wider wheels, but the whole front geometry is pushed out 60mm resulting in a 65-inch front and rear square set up. The running gear is still staggered with 315/30/18 Rear Pirelli P Zero Rosso Tires in the rear and agile 245/35R18 up front.
The agility of the Porsche is also due in part to the lightweight body adorning the C2 chassis. Gunther Werks Porsche owner Peter Nam explains that this is a pre-preg carbon fiber formed in an autoclave that results in a curb weight of only 2670-pounds making it lighter and stiffer than the original. The soft curves of the 993 body gently extend out 3-inches on each corner to cover the sizable increase in tires and new suspension mounting points creating a slick design that is as wide as the current 991 GT3! Outside, a revised duckbill spoiler amplified the look of this 400R and on earlier versions where the original doors and mirrors were kept, this latest 400R replaces them all in exposed carbon fiber.
Under the rear lid is an all-new approach making power. The 4.0L naturally aspirated flat-6 pumps out 400 horsepower with 331 lb-ft but that figure climbs to 431hp at 7,800rpm on the right gasoline with a MoTeC tune. To keep all those ponies headed in the right direction, the 400R also features electric power steering and air conditioning requiring only 1-horsepower eliminating parasitic drag.
The gearbox is proper 6-speed manual transaxle that with the gearing changed to optimize the car’s track performance. The revised box features closer ratios for the first five gears and an overdrive for 6th gear to keep it civil.
Debuting at “The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering” in 2017, the original red 400R made a splash there and a couple months later at SEMA 2017. But Gunther Werks decided to up the ante with this complete exposed carbon fiber exoskeleton showcasing what the company could produce. Nam described this exposed carbon fiber as “the most challenging build of my career.” It was the expansive amount of space that these carbon fiber experts had to perfect, creating an automotive art in stunning carbon fiber weave that couldn’t be hidden by paint.
Interested? Well, there are only going to be 25 in existence, so move quick but not too quick because it will cost $600,000 to park one in your driveway… and you have to supply the C2 donor car! The public, however, has spoken and all the reviews agree, this is one special Porsche. As a first effort from Gunther Werks, we applaud how quickly they established a following that took the Singers and Rufs of the world much longer to achieve.